In 2008 this teacher was jailed for standing by while her brother beat his wife to death. In 2011 she will be back in the classroom

2nd April 2010 at 01:00
Judge said she lacked 'common humanity' when sending her to prison for two years, but GTC rules that the science teacher is not a risk to children

A teacher sent to prison for allowing her sister-in-law to die from repeated beatings in the family home will be able to return to the classroom in 12 months.

Uzma Naureen-Khan, a former science teacher at West Leeds High School, failed to intervene despite her brother meting out weeks of abuse to his 19-year-old wife.

Shazad Khan was sentenced to life for murdering Sabia Rani in 2006. Injuries discovered after her death included broken ribs and tissue damage, which a pathologist at the time of the trial described as the worst he had seen.

Ms Naureen-Khan was also sent to prison alongside her mother and sister for allowing the death of Ms Rani, described by the court as a "vulnerable adult".

At the time of her trial in March 2008, the judge said that the three, who denied the charges, had done nothing to help Ms Rani, even though they knew she was in pain and at risk of further beatings.

She was killed by Shazad Khan in the garage of the family home in Leeds and carried through the house before being dumped in the bathtub.

The murder came at the end of three weeks of attacks by her husband, who was also Ms Rani's cousin, and only months after she had moved from Pakistan to Leeds to join her new family.

In sending Ms Naureen-Khan to prison for two years, the judge said that while she was an intelligent woman she was lacking in "common humanity" in her own home.

However, the General Teaching Council for England (GTC) has now ruled that Ms Naureen-Khan does not present a risk to children.

In a hearing last week, the GTC heard that she served about half her sentence. While in prison, Ms Naureen-Khan took steps to "continue to teach and develop" her learning, the council said.

"You have sought to rebuild your life," it added. "Since your conviction you have shown real character and insight into your actions.

"We believe that you have the potential to teach effectively in the future and you have the passion, desire and professional commitment for teaching. We have no doubt that you do not present a risk to children or pupils."

Ms Naureen-Khan has not taught since her release from prison, although it is understood that she had applied for posts after being cleared by the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

The GTC has ruled that she must serve a 12-month suspension order. It conceded that "cases of this nature could justify a more onerous disciplinary order", but said that, having considered her case, a year-long suspension was appropriate.

"In our judgment your conviction for allowing the death of a vulnerable adult has material relevance to your fitness to be a registered teacher," it said.

"Teachers are role models within schools and the community and have a responsibility to contribute to the care and safety of vulnerable individuals."

The council also criticised Ms Naureen-Khan for misleading her headteacher at West Leeds High, when in December 2007 she requested leave from school during term-time, but failed to disclose that she faced a criminal trial.

"Teachers, the public and the profession have a right to expect that teachers will behave with integrity and trustworthiness," the GTC said.

"In misleading your headteacher in the way you have, you failed to maintain the standards expected of a registered teacher."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today